If you are a new TLD applicant, one of the key pieces of your plan is how you intend to go to market. Many applicants will be required by ICANN to use registrars, and there are many good reasons for this. Registrars understand the domain business, they are experienced domain marketers and most importantly, they have existing business relationships with many of the same registrants you will need to make your TLD successful.
The question is: HOW do you get registrars to support YOUR new TLD?
Afilias has more experience introducing new TLDs to registrars than anyone, and we'd like to suggest 3 principles for success:
1) First, choose an attractive string: The most important reason for a registrar to support you is if your TLD will sell. Make sure your string has a strong reason for being — that it adds value to the Internet and will serve a market that will buy it!
2) Second, Provide Support: Be sure to give registrars tools that will help them sell your TLD. For example you'll need to ensure competitive pricing and provide marketing materials and promotional support. Plan to work as a TEAM with your registrars
3) Third, Keep it simple: Registrars are going to be swamped with new offerings. If YOUR TLD is simpler to implement, your chances for success are better.
• Simplicity begins with the accreditation process — Study what new TLDs have done in the past and don't re-invent the wheel.
• Pricing should also be simple and sustainable. Look at how registrars sell domains today and try to replicate that model.
• And last, Technical systems must be familiar and standards-compliant: Registrars don't have time to learn a whole new system. They will support TLDs that use systems they are familiar with, as it saves them time and money
Registrars are the key to distribution so you must learn how to succeed through them. How? Choose an attractive string, provide appropriate support for your registrars, and keep it simple for them.
Of course, it isn't quite that simple. That's why you should work with an expert who is already dealing with registrars and has done this for many new TLDs before. Afilias already has a group of accredited registrars that together support over 90% of the active domain name marketplace. This coupled with our registry technology which already supports 15 different TLDs, has the kind of experience you'll need in gaining distribution to make your new TLD successful.
Written by Roland LaPlante, Afilias' Senior Vice President and CMO
Afilias is a global provider of Internet infrastructure services that connect people to their data. Afilias' reliable, secure, scalable, and globally available technology supports a wide range of applications including Internet domain registry services and Managed DNS. (Learn More)
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